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 The Informed Investor's Directory of Trades & businesses in Chard, Somerset, UK & are prepared for The Chard Trade Association by
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We include sections of interest to the community in our Notices, Local News, Tourism and our Heart rendering columns. Thank you for reading our site and please feel free to comment on any part which you feel about. We hope in our small way to make Chard a better place to live and work in.

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Its Showtime
For a full list of theatres in the UK. Click on to Showtime

For great days out in Wessex YOU must look at all the wonderful attractions and events in the Ancient Kingdom of Wessex
Berkshire Attractions
Devon Attractions

Dorset Attractions

Gloucestershire Attractions

Hampshire Attractions

Oxfordshire Attractions

Wessex Attractions
Wiltshire Attractions
Worcestershire Attractions
or pick the seaside resort you would like to go to in Wessex by clicking here

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Great Websites to Click onto
The Big Breakfast
Life may start at seven, but if you are not up that early you can always catch up on your fill of the Big Breakfast on this site. It has profiles of and interviews with the presenters and of course a run-down of what is going to be on the show this week. There are wallpapers and sounds to download, and you can take part by submitting your bulldog photos or your very own vital, and totally useless, statistic. The only thing it lacks is footage of the actual shows.
Blue Peter
There isn't a person in this land who doesn't have memories of good old Blue Peter. But while the show has been accused of being out of touch, the BBC has brought into the Internet age with its own site. Sadly, this is a fairly bog standard site. Yes, it is colourful, packed with information and throwing games and competitions around like there was no tomorrow. But then it doesn't really get the imagination going - something a kids programme should.
The Simpsons
Don't you just love the Simpsons? If you can't do without your daily dose of the show, then you should visit this site. It opens with a huge map of Springfield and you can then explore the various settings, Bart and Lisa's School, Moe's Bar, the Kwik-E Mart and of course the Simpson household itself. In each place you will find details of the characters themselves, as well as taking a test in the Simpson's to help Bart get out of Fourth Grade.
Eh-oh! What exactly is the attraction of these fat little characters for small children? Perhaps with the exception of students most adults find them truly awful, but the fascination they exert on small children cannot be underestimated. This BBC Education website is built around activities and games you can do with your child on the PC, such a jigsaws, games of hide and seek and adjusting the Tubby Control Panel so that it makes animal noises. You can even print out pictures of the teletubbies to colour in.
All the ITV shows have their sites on this supersite. There's not much information on each of the shows, but there are some other parts you'll want to have a look at. There's jokes and online chat, competitions and games to play on the site. One nice touch is the Never Bored section, which tells you what events are going on in your area. You can then mail the site and tell them what you thought of your day out.
Tweenies are the new education program for pre-school age children and as you might expect, it has lots of extra activities that parents can do with their smaller children. So there is supplementary information on the stories and lots of songs that can be downloaded to sing along with. There are games to play and suggestions of things to watch on television. For parents there is also a new service, bringing you all the latest articles and advice by education specialists.
Get Live and Kicking
This site is packed full of everything that is on the show. So you will find interviews with celebrities, such as Joe Absolom from EastEnders, lots of showbiz gossip, games and competitions. There are features on the presenters - even Mr Blobby and the Leprechauns get their own sections. One of the best features, however, is the huge number of wallpapers featuring celebrities such as Five, Scoochy and Supergirly, that you can download from the site. It'll even tell you how to install them.
If you want to keep up with the latest news from around the world, the best place to come is the Newsround site. The BBC news coverage is excellent and so is this site. It has all the stories of the day, but also fills you in on some of the background behind the stories, so you can find out all about the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, but also about the Northern Ireland situation and why so many people in the world are starving.


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There are plenty of categories covered on the site, everything from sport to learning maths, games and puzzles to screensavers to the latest sites on Pokemon. Everything that a kid could want is here.
The database is easy to search, either by category or by the search button and sites are often given a 'cool shades' mark to show those sites that are definitely worth visiting.
There are plenty of online chats on all kinds of subjects: Cuba, NASA and martial arts. And to make sure you do not miss a thing there are upcoming events posted well in advance. There are even parents' guides and teachers' guides to show the oldies how to get the most out of the net. Finally there is a featured celebrity on the site - when we looked it was Britney Spears - together with pictures and plenty of pop trivia.
Compuserve Kids
This excellent links page concentrates on fun stuff rather than on school studies. So there are sections on TV, movies and videos, as well as music and sport. There are even a list of hot sites and kid's favourites sites covering everything from Harry Potter to Rugrats.
Enchanted Learning
Enchanted Learning produce educational websites. A whole range of subjects are covered, everything from dinosaurs to astronomy, as well as taking in the traditional science, maths and languages.
ePlay links up schools and kids in an environment where they can learn and have fun. So there is a serious homework assignment area, but also a fun games section, and a message centre where kids can communicate with other children around the world.
Although there is no actual kid's section on Freeserve, there is plenty of information here for them. There is homework help in education, games, cartoons and of course Freeserve's excellent guide to what is on locally for kids.
This portal is designed specially for kids, and so it is crammed full of the kind of sites kids want to see. It covers everything from arts and entertainment to sports and recreation and of course there is an education section.
This is more one for mums than for the kids themselves. It has the same event selector for finding days out in your local area as Freeserve, but also has a good links page for kids websites.
AOL UK Kids Channel
There are not a huge number of links on this channel, just a list of top five sites and a section on a particular subject. The sections do change on a regular basis, however, so it's worth keeping an eye on. calls itself the supersite for kids. There are loads of links here on everything from the earth to space travel, dinosaurs to how things work. And in each case there is a little summary of what you will find on the site.
The Junction
The Junction is an online magazine aimed at teenagers. It has loads of links, covering subjects as diverse as advice, football, music and technology. It also has a few columns, although these just link to
National Geographic Kids
This site is less of a portal and more of an all-round resource and activity centre. There is plenty to find out about, including all about NASA's plans to send people to Mars. There is also a great section on amazing facts, like why clouds float.
Surf Monkey
This site not only has games, bulleting boards and chat rooms, but it also has an extensive list of sites that are safe and cool for kids, covering everything from sports and toys to art, science and space.
UK Plus
UK Plus is one of the few portals to have a dedicated kid's section. As UKPlus is still in its infancy there is not a great deal here as yet, but hopefully it will grow in time.


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Its English counterpart, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, outstrips it in sheer scope, but F&W's 22,000 articles stand it in good stead against its many rivals. From Nietzsche to nanotechnology, the range and depth of the entries is impressive, set in a bright, uncluttered layout that aids speedy research. The basic encyclopaedia function is usefully supplemented with a dictionary - courtesy of the folks at Random House - and an international news service, updated hourly. Again, while the multimedia trappings look prosaic in comparison with the slick service offered by Encarta, the slideshows, photos and audio files that are included are more than adequate. The serious researcher will not be deterred by the lack of showy pyrotechnics and will find more than enough raw information in the thorough, considered entries, which are crucially updated each month. But the real advantage, of course, is the generous pricing policy in a market crammed with expensive alternatives. If you'd shelled out for the latest print edition of Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopaedia, you'd be $189 worse off.
3D Atlas Online
If you have ever got stuck on your geography homework, or just wondered where Botswana is, then this is the place to come. It has a fully searchable list of countries and for each country listed you see a few words about the country, giving information on the geography, population and main industries, plus a photograph and a picture of the national flag. There are links of other sites on the web and a map can be downloaded. A word of warning, though - it can take forever to download the graphics.
Ask Jeeves for Kids
Ask Jeeves is a search engine with a difference. You ask Jeeves a question, such as 'why should I eat my vegetables' or 'why do clouds float' and Jeeves will come back with a list of sites where you can find the answers to these questions. Alternatively you can take a 'tour' around a certain subject, such as earthquakes, pets, or the body and find plenty of sites with answers to all the questions you may want to ask, all presented in a neat and tidy format, but then what else would you expect from Jeeves?
Lets Find Out
Lets Find Out is divided into 16 sections, taking in such things as the body, art, aviation, dinosaurs and science. Behind each subject is a list on entries, and each entry has a couple of paragraphs explaining what that thing is. There is also an alphabetical index of entries if you are not sure where to look things up. The site is not as comprehensive as it could be and some of the articles are a little too short to be a huge amount of help, but it is a good starting point.
Little Explorers
Little Explorer's is another of the Enchanted Learning sites. The dictionary is illustrated throughout with small sketches rather than photographs. While it is in no way comprehensive, for example there are only 52 entries under G, it is easy to read and informative. In fact many of the entries have so much information that you think it is not a dictionary at all, but a kind of mini-encyclopaedia. It also links well with the other Enchanted Learning sites.
Encarta Online
This online version of Microsoft's famous encyclopaedia is the concise version and is not as detailed as the deluxe online version for which you have to subscribe, but it is still packed with informative articles and plenty of pictures. The information is easy to search by category, or alternatively you can use the search button to go straight to the article you are looking for. However it is always worth having a look through your favourite categories as different articles are spotlighted regularly so something might catch your eye.
Reference Centre
The Freeserve reference centre is precisely that. It is made up of a dictionary (the Oxford Compact English Dictionary), an encyclopaedia (the Cambridge Encyclopaedia Database) and a world atlas. You can do a power-search across any of the titles and it will come up with any suitable articles, or you can do a media search if you are just looking for pictures, audio files or animations.
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica is without doubt the best place to look for anything you want to know about. It has a fantastic reputation for being both reliable and for giving you in-depth content that is also easily absorbed. It is finally fully searchable on the web and is fully hyperlinked so you can move from the article you first looked up to others that are related at the click of a button. It also has a great news section, links to articles from other publications and its own great list of links.
Kid's Almanac
This Almanac includes all sorts of interesting facts and figures. You can for example find out about the largest deserts in the world or the longest rivers. Alternatively you can find out about dating and marriage and the different traditions in the wedding ceremony around the world, all in a quirky lifestyle section. There are some fun features as well. When we looked there was one on Harry Potter and another one on the most popular pet names.


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Chardshire Local Tourist Attractions
The surrounding countryside in Devon, Dorset and Somerset is full of wonderful attractions. This Site shows them all. A must for those school holidays
Alton Towers
If you are after thrills and spills, this is the place to come. The park claims to have more rides than any other in the UK including the infamous Black Hole, Nemesis and Oblivion. Alton Towers is also opening a new 3D interactive world this year. This site has all the information you need on getting to the park, tickets, and even information on staying there. The site does not look as good as the rides, however, being a little bit rough around the edges and not showing a great deal of design flair.
If you are short of ideas on what to do for your day out, then take a look at this site. It has listings for all kinds of attractions, from museums to amusements parks, taking in zoos, farms, parks and just about anything else you could think of along the way. Many of the attractions are based in the SouthEast, however, and the site's sports section only mentions London facilities. However if you are planning a trip to London, it will tell you the opening times and prices of all the attractions.
Time Out is the London listings magazine that tells you everything that is going on around the capital. On their web site they cover other cities around the world, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin. The Kid's section of each city covers such necessities as playgrounds, swimming pools and animal encounters, as well as letting you know about all the events happening for kids in the city in that week as well as covering the usual tourist attractions.
Most museums make you keep your finger off the exhibits, but at Eureka in Halifax, you can touch and play with whatever you want to. You can find out how the human body works, how TV programmes are made and even how the loo flushes, all through interactive exhibits. On this website there isn't much of the museum itself on show, but there are details of tickets, location and opening times, plus information on special events that are happening at the museum so you can plan when you are going to go.
Tower of London
There is much, much more to this site than just ticket information and opening hours. You can get a tour of the Tower itself, given by Tom the beefeater, which tells you all about the history of the tower, and then you can pop off to see the crown jewels. There are also plenty of pages on the things that everyone wants to know about: the ghosts, the prisoners and the executions. You an also find out all about the beefeaters, including an interviews with one, and about the ravens.
Freeserve Kids Event Selector
If you want to know what is going on in your local area, this is a great place to start. Simply type in your nearest town or city and the event selector will come up with a huge range of activities. We tried typing in Leeds and the results were impressive: 26 events came back, with everything from an RSPB reserve to karting, taking in storytelling in a bookshop to a theatre show in between.
Kids Travel
Bored during the holidays? Got nothing to do at the weekend? Then take a look at this site. Divided into six regions, and then in sections including theme parks, zoos and safari parks, caves and caverns and attractions, this site has loads of ideas of where to spend your days out. Each attraction has ticket prices, opening times and its location listed, together with a telephone number so you can ring ahead to double check they are going to be open. Each one also has a description of what you will find there, so you can decide whether or not you like the look of it.


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How Things Work
This site is written by a professor of physics at the University of Virginia and is about the physics behind everyday life. The articles in here are not comprehensive 'how things work from a to z'. Instead the prof answers people's questions. So if you click on the balloon topic button, you will get a lot of questions answered, such as how large a helium balloon would have to be to lift a girl off the ground.
Intelligent Child
Don't let the title of this website put you off - it is not just for brain-boxes and swats. It is instead a good collections of how the things you want to know about work. So there is a section on subjects all related to space, astronomy and general science, such as how you drive a satellite or what is a moonwalk. Most the articles have plenty of information in them and some groovy pictures, but others simply answer one question very briefly, such as how big is Jupiter. How It Works
This excellent site has all kinds of articles on things that you an do to find out how things work. So you can pick up some HTML tips to build your own website, or look at the anatomy of a banknote, learn sign language or learn how a toilet works. All the articles are linked to other sites, so this overall website is more of a collection point than one big site. Most of the articles are easy to understand and as you always stay on the website and the other sites open in the main window, naviagation is easy.
How Stuff Works
This site is packed with explanations of how everyday objects work. So if you have ever wanted to know how the TV works, or how a car engine works, then this is the place to come. The site is divided into 22 sections covering such diverse topics as aviation, music, power and food. All the articles are comprehensive, going into a great deal of detail, but they are always easy to understand.


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There is plenty of action on this site. Not only can you find out about the figures and the all important equipment you will need, but you can also play secret agents yourself. There is a game to play on the site and you can pass secret messages to other agents out in the field. You can even gain access to a special agent part of the site which is reserved for existing agents.
Lego Mindstorms
Lego Mindstorms is Lego that you can build into robots by first screwing the parts together, then programming it to do something. If this sounds fiendishly difficult, don't worry. There is loads of information on this site about how you can program your Lego and plenty of technical support questions are answered too. If you need inspiration, then just look at some of the robots that other people have made, including one that will play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano.
Mr Potato Head
Learn about the life and times of Mr Potato Head in this bright, fun site. You can look at the Mr Potato Head scrapbook to find out about the most important events in Mr Potato Head's long and illustrious career, or you can click through the timeline of pictures showing Mr Potato Head over the years. You can then go to the fun corner page, where there are two lots of activities: one for little kids, including colouring in and word jumbles, and one for big kids, including a section where you can make your own Mr Potato Head and a trivia quiz.
Every little girl wants a Barbie doll. On this site you can find out what the fascination is. There are details of all the products, including special limited edition dolls, such as the Millennium Princess Barbie and the Tango Barbie. But there is much more to this site. You can dress Barbie in an online fashion show, print out pictures to colour in or colour them in online and meet her friends and family. You can even design your own Barbie.
Toy City
Toy City is a massive online supplier of toys. You can search the massive catalogue by age, by brand, by price or by any other way you want. And if you still can't find what you want you can always try the tips on how to search the database. There are special offers on the front page and if you want to get news of more special offers you can sign up to Toy City's VIP service.
Creatures are those little Norns who live in your computer and want constant attention if they are going to learn to behave well and grow up able to look after themselves. You can find out about all the Norn's environments here and about the various creatures. You can also find out how to look after the Norns. But there are no tips on this site as to how to get more out of your creature or what to do when you hit problems.
The Furby site pulls out all the stops in its efforts to be entertaining. When you enter the site you will see a map of Furbyland, including the library where you can colour in pictures, learn the story of Furbys or look at an English-to-Furby dicationary. Or you could go the post office, where you can send animated postcards to your friends. Or you can go to Babyland to find out about the new Furby babies, including the story of when they were born.
If you want to order your toys online without having to go to the bother of traipsing round these huge out of town warehouses, then you should come to the ToyRUs site. It has a full online catalogue and you can order any of the products online. There are pictures of all the products, although they are very small, so they are not as clear as they might be, but at least the catalogue is quick to scroll through.


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